What Should You Eat When Recovering From Injury?
brooklyn physical therapist

Most people realize that when it comes to building strength and increasing athletic ability, diet plays a major role. What most people fail to realize, however, is that it is just as important when recovering from an injury. Pairing a proper diet with physical therapy is a great way to speed up one’s recovery time. At MOTION, our physical therapists have a proven track record of helping our patients heal. For optimal recovery, they recommend eating a healthy dose of all the below substances and nutrients.


It shouldn’t be a surprise that protein is one of the most important nutrients to consume after sustaining an injury. As a vital building block for many of the body’s tissues, intaking enough protein can speed up the recovery time for injuries involving muscle damage. Our physical therapists will teach you strength exercises as part of your rehab regimen, and consuming protein will allow these exercises to have their full effect.


Before you’re ready to participate in physical therapy, you’ll most likely go through a period of immobilization to allow your body to heal. During this period of inactivity, it can be easy to put on a few pounds. While this may not seem like a big deal, carrying around excess weight can put more pressure on an injured area, leading to a more difficult recovery process. Foods that are rich in fiber can keep you feeling full longer, helping you keep your calories down. To help properly manage your weight, consider increasing your intake of the following foods:

  • Almonds
  • Bananas
  • Broccoli
  • Legumes
  • Whole grains

Vitamin D And Calcium

Calcium can help repair bone and muscle damage that was sustained due to an injury. It also plays a vital role in muscle contractions and nerve signaling. However, keeping up with your calcium intake will not be enough, as vitamin D is essential to reap the benefits calcium can bring. Vitamin D allows the body to absorb the calcium found in everyday foods.


Medical studies have shown that a lack of zinc in one’s diet can greatly delay wound and injury healing. This is because zinc is a major component of the enzymes and proteins responsible for tissue repair and growth. To help mitigate the risk of spending a long time battling an injury, our physical therapists recommend implementing the following foods into your diet:

  • Fish
  • Shellfish
  • Nuts
  • Meat
  • Whole grains


Due to their anatomy and bodily functions, joint injuries can be very detrimental to one’s quality of life. Trying to move through constant pain and swelling can be both infuriating and exhausting to deal with, which is why our physical therapists will tell you to focus on your glucosamine levels when facing a joint injury. Research has proven this natural substance to be effective in reducing joint pain. Studies have also indicated that glucosamine can help prevent joint deterioration. Ask our team if they believe you should be consuming glucosamine supplements to help aid in your recovery process.

At MOTION, our physical therapists understand all the intricacies that go into making a full recovery. You may think physical therapy is all that you need, but a proper diet will also work wonders. Choosing to consume the right foods is an important part of your everyday health, but can be even more vital when an injury is involved. You can trust that our team will help teach you what nutrients and how much should be consumed to help you get healthy again. If you’ve recently sustained an injury, be sure to contact us today to take the first steps to recovery!